Thursday, January 31, 2013


      My parents had 4 children; 2 boys & 2 girls.  I am the oldest, as I came at the beginning of the procession-boy, girl, boy, girl.  My childhood began in the mid 1950's, and extended until 1971.  My parents took us to a Methodist Church in Ferndale, Michigan-which is a suburb of Detroit.  This church, being a Methodist Church, from my perspective now as a born-again Christian was not very spiritual or evangelistic at all.  However, when I was five years old-this would have been about 1958, my Sunday School Teacher for the kindergarten class was a woman named Ethel Hill.  I don't remember that much about her except she was very small of stature, and she was a very pious lady.  She was teaching us in Sunday School that God had a perfect plan for each of our lives.  I remember at that time, I had a special awareness from God that He indeed did have a special plan for my life  I had no idea at that point how I would find God's plan, but I knew that I wanted to find it.  It was very special to me, that the God of the Universe had a  special purpose for my existance-shoes that he wanted me to fill, that no-one else could wear.  I believed that he has guided me in my life so far.  He lead me to a place where I could hear the truth and get saved and sanctified.
     I've lived for 60 years; I retired from my job, and already lived a lot of my life.  But I am still excited that God can use my life, in the time  I have left


Wednesday, January 30, 2013


         Most of my thoughts today, come from Chapter 2 of the book that I am reading from my personal development, 'Success is not an Accident' by  Tommy Newberry.  

     For most of us, change comes hard.  But change is a fact of life.  Change, whether we know it or not, happens every day.  Throughout your life, you will be changing constantly, and becoming something new; either slightly, or extensively different from the previous you.  With each change, you will either be moving closer to your true place or true identity, or further away.

   Most people let change happen to and on them.  It is an external event that occurs haphazardly and randomly.  These people find themselves molded and thrown off course by their circumstances.  But as James Allen said in his book, 'As A Man Thinketh'  "Circumstance does not make a man, it reveals him.

   I prefer to make change happen in my life, instead of being a victim of change.  As I strive to discover what God's purpose is for me, and why I am here, and keep my focus there, I will make those changes that will help me become the person that I was created to become;  therefore I make change work for me, instead of happen to me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


     A colleague of mine with IRS, once introduced me a quote which which expressed  her philosophy on getting older.  She said, "Age is an issue of mind over matter;  if you don't Mind, it doesn't Matter".  Next Monday, I will be celebrating a special birthday.  I will be turning 60 years old.  Of course, if you are in turn with the latest chatter, 60 is the new 40, etc.  Being a Bible reader, I know that in Genesis 6:3, God shortened the life span when He said, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.  My Pastor believes that God intends for us to live 120 years.  Of course, not to many of us make that, but that is the life span.  So at 60 years old, I am not half way there yet.  Last year at this time, when I turned '59' I mentioned to a manager friend of mine; next year at this time, I will turn 60 years.  The very next day, she gave me a birthday card read, 'Happy 60th Birthday.   Of course that weekend, I thought even thought I won't actually turn 60 until 2013, I an entering my 60th year.
     I am a connoisseur of the Russian language.  I learned Russian which I was in the Army.   They have a very picturesque way of saying that someone was born.  The transliterated Russian says, "On pribyl'  v svet"  or he arrived into the light.  So a birthday is an Anniversary of when God brought us into the light.  It is a celebration of when we came into this world.  So truly, it is only an issue of Mind Over Matter.  Birthdays are celebrations of anniversaries of of when we came into the light of this world.

Monday, January 28, 2013


     I wanted to tell a story today about something that happened several weeks ago at the ministry where I volunteer my time. This will illustrate the importance of forgetting the past, and lettting it go.  This is a necessity for our physical health, our mental health, and our spiritual health as well As I mentioned I do volunteer work at my Pastor's ministry.  The ministry is an evangelistic ministry where we endeavor to help men and women do something about their spiritual needs.  We have an outreach ministry where we help men and women with their physical needs as wellWe refer to this as the ministry of mercy to Cass  Corridor needy.  The Cass Corridor  is the infamous name of an inner-city region of Detroit, close to the downtown area.  This is the ministry where I am laboring and volunteering my time.  We ministry to many of the homeless in the area; also to the lower income residents of the neighborhood.   This lady, about whom I am telling this story, comes to us each week for help with food.  Her name is Peggy.   The majority of these people are poor, and it's hard for them to get their money to stretch. I said something to her, this day, to try and encourage her.  Five years ago, a man that she'd been in love with, for 11 years suddenly died.  Peggy was devastated.  At the time, we counseled, really prayed hard to try and get her through this rough period.  Like I mentioned when 2013 rolled around, I was trying to bring to her attention how she'd made it another year;  how faithful God had been to enable to gett through another year past Jerry's death.  When I tell her this, she informs me that she hasn't let go, and isn't over his death.   When I tell her that it's important to let go, and move on, she tells me she doesn't want to.  After she left that day, I mulled it over.  Was I wrong in what I said.
I came to the conclusion that she is doing herself a tremendous disservice by refusing to let go of the baggage of 5 years ago.  It is as if she is still carrying around his dead body.  She can't move on with her life while she is still weighted down by the past.  I am not saying that she needs to forget the good memories she has of her loved one, but she has to come to grips with the fact that Jerry is gone from the scene, that chapter of her life is closed forever.  She needs to move on with her life. 
     Consider a person who is carrying a grudge over a wrong that was done in the past.  Just like Peggy in the above paragraph, this person who hasn't forgiven the person who wronged him/her is carrying a dead body around that hinders one from living live to the fullest degree.  And if a person doesn't completely forgive, they shut themselves out of God's forgiveness; for he will only forgive us if we forgive others.  So you can see that ones spiritual health and happiness depends on our letting go of past baggage.   Of course, peace of mind is dependant completely on our letting go of the past;  and it has be clinically demonstrated that  we make ourselves sick by hold to past grievances, and not closing chapters that should be closed.  You see, there is great wisdom in Forgetting those Things that are  Behind. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013


     During the past several posts, I have been discussing goal setting, which can be used at the beginning of the year instead of making resolutions.  I have described how I set a goal  for each of the major areas of my life.
     Having chosen a goal, I identify the goal; make a committment to what I will accomplish; and I outline concrete incremental steps to follow, to make the accomplishment of the goal happen. 


  • Choose a magnificent goal:  Kick above your head!
  • Aim High -  'When your are shooting at a target, it is necessary to set your aim higher than you actually think the target is because over the long trajectory of time and distance, the pull of gravity, and the natural drift downward will pull your shot ever so slightly lower that where you were aiming'.
  •  Keep moving ahead.  Remember the slight edge:  Incremental forward steps taken consistently over a period of time creates unstoppable momentum.
  • The journey of 1000 miles begins with the very first step! 


    On Fridays  when I was still working we used to ask each other if they had special plans for the weekend.  When someone asked me, I would tell them that I was planning to do normal Saturday Stuff, as I didn't have anything special, and normally I did the same thing each Saturday.
  This is what I did today:
  1. I got up at 07:00 Eastern time I got a cup of cold coffee.  I read my Bible and prayed, which I need to do every morning.  I listened to Joshua's Trail  at 08:00.  This is a Conservative Radio Talk show led by Black Americans in the Metro Detroit Area.
  2. I took my daily shower, and got dressed   I made a fresh pot of coffee; had my liquid nutrition.  I ate a sandwich, and had a cup of Fresh Hot Coffee!.
  3. Since I am retired I have been volunteering 30 hours a week to the inner-city ministry that my Pastor operates. I get there in the mornings at 10:00am.  On the way there this morning, I picked up a friend who also was a volunteer today.
  4. We got there at 10:00We have a ministry of mercy to the homeless and needy in the area.  To that end, we have a door and a window which are open 10 am - 2 pm Tuesday - Friday, and 10 am - 1 pm on Saturdays.  We give out sandwiches; hand out food bags for families with children, and try to give out  a word from God to them.
  5.  Today I finished working on Radio Notes for next Sunday's radio program; and I finished replenishing the food bag supply by putting together some more food packages.
  6. At 1:00 pm on Saturday, we form up teams to knock on doors and pass out informational flyers about our church;  going out to the neighborhood-seeking people to come and hear the Gospel of Christ
  7. From 3:00-4:00 we have a prayer meeting.  We pray for the church services the next day, but especially for our Pastor, and the people of the Church
  8. At 4:00 I check in with my friend.  I was going to offer to take him home if he could come right then.  He told me he had some other business, but he could get another way home
  9. I stopped off by a nearby deli to pick up a couple pieces of Stuffed Pizza for dinner.  I tried to get some money from the ATM but it was out of order.  I could stop at corner store to get the money I needed.  I did stop and get some cash at the corner store.  I also picked up a pound of coffee.
  10. After I got home, I put together the blog-post you are reading.
  11. I will work at my home business for 2 hours.   Then at 0900  I will listen to the Mentoring for Free Call.  Mentoring for Free is a training system for network marketers.
  12. Depending on how I feel after the call, I probably will retire for the evening, and prepare for the next day-Sunday; the Lord's Day.

Friday, January 25, 2013


    I have been a lifelong bachelor.  I don't have any natural children.  Sometimes, though, I refer to my cats as my children.  It is not that I don't like dogs.  I made the decision quite a few years ago, that I would rather have a cat as a pet, because they require less maintenance than a dog.  As I had a full-time job, an active church life, and spend minimal time at my apartment, I felt that it wouldn't be fair to the animal, if I had a dog, who requires a lot more attention than a cat.  
   Today, I have 3 cats which are sharing my apartment with me.  This is the third time in my adult life that I've had multiple cats.   In 2002, I had 2 purebred Maine Coons who were brother and sister. and I had a purebred Norwegian Forest Cat.   In April of 2008, I had an accident.  I was hit by a car as a pedestrian. I had a bone broken in each leg.  I was off work for 6 months while I was in recovery.  A colleague of mine from work ran a Cat Rescue with his wife.  The second day after my accident, he offered  to look to take my cats and look after them while I was in recovery and indisposed.   After 10 days at the hosiptal where I endured four surgeries, and 45 days at a Rehabilitation hospital,  I was a resident in a rehabilitation system where I was in an independent living situation.  In June of that year, during the time I was in independent living, both my Maine Coons, Empress, and Rusty, brother and sister, unexpectedly died within days of one another.  They could have been environmentally poisoned, as I had some problems with bugs, and was fumigating on a regular basis; or there could have been some genetic issues as they were  both related.  The Veternerian's verdict was they died of acute liver failure.  At this point, I still don't know exactly.
     The only one of three that survived was Elsa Golden-Belle.  She is my little Norwegian Forest Cat.   I still have her.  She was born in May 2001, and today is 11, nearly 12 years old.  Presently she needs to be groomed and has several large mats in her coat which I've been unable to remove myself.  I adopted a rescue cat in 2009.  He is a male, and a Maine Coon mix.  His name is Spaz.  The foster owner, I adopted him from told me she called him Spaz because as a kitten was 'climbing the walls'.  Today, he is 4 1/2 years old, and had mellowed out.  He was born 4/1/2008, which incidently was the date of the accident I mentioned above.  This fact alone, endears the cat to me.  He is a big cat; about 15 lbs.  People, sometimes do a double take  because he is so big  His coat is Silver Blue, so he is a really nice looking pet.  He has a wonderful, affectionate, outgoing personality.   Several months ago, I opened my home to a friend's cat.  The friend is in transit between homes.  She is a purebred Maine Coon.  She is a little more than 2 years old.  She has a long body, but is ganglely.  At 2 years old, a cat or a dog is little more than an adolescent.  I have had my two cats both altered but she is still intact.  Presently, she is in heat, and is acting strangely, and is making lots of noises.  It help her at night for me to confine in the cat carrier.  Something about it, apparently makes her feel safer and more secure.  I am presently in the process of making an appointment to have her spade.

See You Tomorrow!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013


      In yesterday's post, I took the reader through the steps toward obtaining a point in time checkbook balance;  analyzing the transactions which have cleared the bank over a period of time, say 3 months; writing these transactions in a blank checkbook register, with the purpose of arriving at a reasonably accurate account balance
    Having obtained an account balance, we maintain it by using the Check Register to record every transaction that flows through the checking account.
   Every month, when the  checking account statement comes in the mail, record the ending statement balance on a piece of paper.  On another column, record the running checkbook balance that is in the checkbook.  The job in balancing the checkbook is to adjust the checkbook balance so that it matches the ending statement balance.
  • Step 1 - The Checks and transactions listed on the monthly statement are the transactions which have cleared the bank.  The first step is to go through all the transactions on the statement, and check them off in the check register.  Once that is done, all the transactions not checked off in the register are known as Outstanding Transactions.  
  • Step 2 - Write down and total all the credit transactions and add them to the statement balance.
  • Step 3 - Write down and toal all the debit transactions and subtract them from the statement balance
At this point the two balances should  be equal.  When they are equal, the statement is balanced.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


     In yesterday's post, I start outlining the steps which I need to take in order to get control of my checkbook to the point where I will be able to maintain an accurate balance to my checking account, the ultimate aim being of course, to balance my checking account each month.  Step 1, to reiterate, is to start recording each transaction on a check register;  whether a paper check, on on-line debit transaction, or a phone debit transaction; any transaction which flows through and affects the checking account.

  • Step 2 - It is necessary to find out exact where you stand with your account balance at a particular point in time.  It is necessary that you either go to the bank, and sit down with a banker.  They can pull your account information on the computer.  You need to know what the current account balance is.  You then need to know all the activity that the account has been through;  the farther back you can go, the better-a month, two months, or three months.  You can also get this information via the telephone.  Most banks today, have phone systems that will allow one to receive point-in-time account information, and also account activity.

With this information in mind, you can now put together a check register, and get an accurate account balance.  

I'll continue on with Step 3 in Tommorrow's post

Monday, January 21, 2013


     In Saturdays post, I mentioned that it is my practice to make goals in each of the major areas of my life.  To illustrate this, I mentioned that in the Financial area, I would make a personal goal, of balancing my checking account each month; I informed the reader that except for a short amount of time, I have gone my entire life without regularly balancing my check book; even though I learned how to perform this activity when, I opened my first checking account in the 1970's.  This is a very important item, as I struggle, at times, with money management, and having an up-to-date, accurate check book balance, is a solid step in the control of my finances.  I have to start where I am.  That is important in the fulfillment of any goal.  One must determine where they are, and start at that point.  I will list the steps that need to be taken for me to obtain and maintain an accurate checkbook balance.

  • The first step that I need to take in order to make a habit of monthly balancing my checkbook, is to start using a check register on a consistent basis.  Over the years, I have haphazardly written down checks that I have written, and because I haven't done so in a consistent place, and on a consistent basis, I have just wasted my time.  It is absolutely vital, in order to have good control of a checking account, to record all checks written in a register.  The most convenient method is to have a paper register actually inside the checkbook.  Each check must be recorded, writing down the check number, date, payee, description of purpose of payment, per check charge - if any, and the amount of the payment.  There is also a feature in the check register that allows one to keep a running balance, of the account, after each transaction.  Along with the paper checks issued, the different types of transactions connected with the checking account, must be written down and recorded.  For example, today, I used my cell phone to pay two bills; I rented a movie online; and while I was out today, I did several debit card transactions, along using my debit card to obtain cash at an ATM.  All these transactions must be records in the register, and deducted from the account balance.
      The steps to the attainment of this goal will be continued in tomorrow's post 

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Today is Saturday, December 05, 2009, the week after Thanksgiving. 11 years ago, just before Thanksgiving in 1998, I had a run-in with somebody at work, who just happened to be my manager. She accused me of not being able to locate a case which she was looking for

Saturday, January 19, 2013


       In yesterdays post, I talked about setting goals, and not making resolutions.  Magnificent goals; which are attainable, measurable,  and will add something worthwhile to your life.  The Pastor of my church, from whom I absorbed a great deal of wisdom; both spiritual and secular; has always told us that we need to learn to 'Kick Above Our Heads'

      Yesterday, I mentioned how I set goal in each of the major areas of my life:  Financial, Physical, Spiritual, Mental, Social;  etc.  These areas may vary depending upon the issues that are important in your life.

    In this post, I am going to take one of areas that I need some help with, Money Management.  That falls into the Financial area, or so it seems to me.   I do not balance my Checkbook;  which is bad news.  Especially for me since, I am endeavoring to start a Home Business.
    So, this year, I will set for my self a goal of balancing my checkbook each month. 40 years ago, when I opened my first checking account, I learned to balance it.  But, because I have been plagued by laziness during my life time, that good habit of balancing my checkbook each month went by the wayside.
    For me, that certainly is a magnificent and worthwhile goal.  And it is certainly attainable.  When I attain this, it will be a milestone in my life, as I seek to attain, and maintain control over my finances.
   As  I set the goal, I will diagram in detail, steps which I need to take in order to attain it.  I will add a time deadline to the goal, when I plan to hit the goal.

I will detail the Steps which I need to take to begin Balancing  my Checkbook each month in Monday's post. 

Friday, January 18, 2013


     A lot of people are in the habit of making New Year's resolutions;  I don't!  Resolutions are fine.  The start of a new year is an excellent time to make changes, form new habits, and start over.  However too many people make grandiose resolutions like!  "I am going to lose 90 lbs. this year"; or  "I am going to give up cigarette smoking this year".  Now both of these items  maybe doable.  But one sets themselves up for failure because they have absolutely no conception how they are going to arrive at the desired outcome.  So before the month of January is up, or before then, they've given up on their resolution.
    I prefer to set goals in each one of the major areas of my life:  


     In each one of these areas, I set a magnificent goal that is doable:

  • What do I mean by a magnificent goal?  Remember, yesterday I said that Mediocrity is 'just doing enough to get by;  just striving to survive.  Choose a goal that is worthy of your time.  If you accomplish this goal, it will be worthwhile.
  • Remember the saying: The journey of 1000 miles begins with the very first step;  and the answer to the question?  How do you eat an elephant, and the answer is, 'one bite at a time'
REMEMBER - The Slight Edge principle states that:  Positive, Incremental Forward Steps done on a consistent basis will bring  
unstoppable momentum.

More on this Tomorrow!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


    I believe in Personal Development.    I think that everyday, it is important to do things that will nourish and feed the mind, spirit and soul.  We are careful to care for our physical existence; so we must take time for the spiritual person.  After all, we are really spirit beings in physical bodies.

     Currently, I am reading a book by TOMMY NEWBERRY titled, "Success is Not an Accident".  Mr. Newberry is a  motivational speaker, and an author.  He also coaches a group of people known as the 1% CLUB.  In chapter 1 of this book, he instructs that each person should have clarity on what Success means to them.  At the end of Chapter 1, one of the assignments instructs the reader to write down his own definition of Success, and also their definition of Mediocrity.

Here are mine:

Success - I believe that I am a special creation from God.  That He brought me into existence for a special purpose.  I believe that I will be successful by finding out God's plan for my life; by living my life striving and seeking to fulfill my mission.

Mediocrity - I believe that mediocrity is just living for today, and just trying to survive;  doing just enough to get by.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

R E T I R E D !

   R E T I R E D !

     As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I retired from my job with Internal Revenue Service on July 31, 2012.  Soon it will be 6 months ago.  Ten years ago in 2003, my retiring was not even on the radar screen.  I knew that I had over twenty years in; however my focus was moving ahead with my career; trying to upgrade my position if possible.   The defined benefit annuity that one receives with a Federal pension is defined by the highest 3 years of salary.  
     Late in 2006, I received a communication telling me that I was eligible to attend a pre-retirement seminar, which I attended in December of that year.  The very next day, after the seminar, as I was getting ready to go to work that morning, the picture came to me:  "I don't have retirement on the radar screen yet.  I need to think about a date.  I've been telling every one that I wanted to work for ten more  years.  I will go ahead and set a date of 12/31/2016."
     As I've mentioned before in this blog, on April 1st, 2008, I was hit by a car as a pedestrian-with both of my legs broken.  As I was in hospital, recovering, the picture came clear to me that quite possibly I could retire a lot sooner.  I was in the process of  paying the required deposit to include my 4 active duty years in the military with my civilian government service time.  I was making installment payment, and the process which I started in late 2006 was liable to take several more years.   When I finish the transaction- which will add four more years to my time in service, and the time that will elapse in the time it takes me to finish paying the depositwhy I just might be able to retire sooner that what I envisioned  
    As it turned out, I finished paying off the 'military deposit' in January 2011.   To be fully eligible for voluntary retirement under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) one must be at least age 55 with 30 years of service; or age 60 with at least 20 years of service.  With the 4 years of military active duty added to my service time, I became fully eligible for retirement on September 15, 2011.  As soon as I hit that plateau, I asked different people to pray that God would show me how much longer I should work.
   When January 01, 2012 rolled around, I had absolutely no idea that I would be retiring in 2012.  I was still of the mindset that I wanted to possibly work 3-5 years longer, and upgrade my position if I could.
   Something happened in March of 2012 which indicated to me that I should retire before 2012 was out.  Because I've believed that God created me for a special purpose, and that He has a plan for my life, I maintain that He answered prayer on my behalf; opened the door and made the decision  for me.
     Now that I am through the door, and safely on the other side, I am extremely happy, and have full awareness that it was God's plan that I retired when i did.
    This is a new chapter in my life, and I am ready for new adventures as I continue the Journey to fulfill the purpose God has for my life.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


     HAPPY NEW YEAR  EVERYONE!  I know that it is Tuesday, January 15; already Mid-January.  But this is my first post of 2013.  In fact, the is my first post since January 2010.  So as far as I'm concerned, it is Happy New Year.  

     I want to make a commitment here.  Since, I am writing this as a kind of snapshot of my life; it is my aim and goal to write some kind of post, Monday-Saturday; even it is only just a few lines, I want to write every day; showing a portion of my life, and what is important to me

     January is named for the Roman god Janus.   This Roman deity is pictured as double faced.  One face looks back into the past.  The other face looks ahead into the future.  That is exactly what we need to do this time of the year.  We can use the month of January to look back into the past, and take stock of where we are in life now.  How well is your life going.  What things in the past, led us to where we are today?  And we need also to look ahead into the future;  to where we want to be.  Some people make resolutions at the beginning of the year.  I don't!  I prefer to make goals for myself; breaking them down into measurable steps; giving myself deadlines for their accomplishment.  I believe in the
'SLIGHT EDGE'  principle.  This principle contends that making positive incremental steps forward on a consistent basis generates momentum. And that is powerful.  It is always deeply encouraging when you can feel yourself growing as a person, and your life progressing ahead in a forward direction.

    2012 was a big year for me:

  •  I retired from my full-time job with Internal Revenue Service on July 31, 2012-nearly six months ago. Along with my 4 years on Active Duty with the Army during the early 1980's, I have 32 years in with the Federal Government.   I haven't been a couch potato.  I have been volunteering my time, 30 hours a week, to the Evangelistic Ministry that the Pastor of my church operates in Inner-City Detroit.  It is very satisfying and fulfilling to me.  I want to live my life as part of the 'Solution' and not part of the problem.  I am working on a Home Business 10+ hours a week.  I am working to build an income each month to supplement my pension from the Federal Government.  And I go to my church for worship 3 times a week
  • This fall, October 13, 2012, I received my bachelors degree from Ashford University in Business Administration.  This was the culmination of a 41 year dream since the first college credit I earned was in 1971.
I had a fall in April 2012, and fractured my calcaneous, which is the bone in my heel.  I am walking better each day because God healed my foot completely; and I am trusting God to enable me to walk better than before the accident happened.

     As you may know, I have been a Born-again Christian since 1978.  Faith is an important part of my life. I view everything in life from a Biblical  perspective, and a Christian paradigm.

    I can guarantee that all of my posts will not be this lengthy; in fact most of them won't.  I just wanted to give you an update  on where my life is now, 01/15/2013